Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oh, Pancakes

You are all my favorites. I love the original pancake, the french pancake (crepe), the swedish pancake, and, of course, my dear friend german pancake over here.

(From Real Simple magazine)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk, preferably whole
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
1/2 cup fruit jam (optional)
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to combine. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, salt, and vanilla and mix until incorporated; set aside.
Add the butter to a large cast-iron skillet and transfer to oven until the butter melts. Remove from oven and quickly pour the batter into the hot skillet. Return to oven and bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.
Drizzle the lemon juice (if using) over the pancake. Spread the jam (if using) evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.

That's what I had for breakfast this morning over a few math puzzles from the awesome puzzle book pictured above.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Welcome, Copernicium!

JT and I made cheapie-cheap steak sandwiches. After spending $75+ on the lamb dinner for Valentine's Day I decided it was time to scale it down a bit. Lamb was $20/lb, this steak cut is $3.99/lb. We got a block of cheddar cheese, french bread ($1.49) and a bell pepper. I had onions and barbecue sauce. (Sue, I used my favorite, Claim Jumper barbecue sauce that you gave me, for this sandwich.)
It turned out really well. JT cut the steak and bell pepper into strips and pan fried the steak. I cut the onions and sauteed those along with the bell pepper. Bread was toasted with some olive oil and voila, you have a delicious steak sandwich.

Other news:
I am participating in SS12, a coding challenge, this weekend. I'm really nervous because I don't feel like I can contribute to my team. I'm sure there will be people who are a lot more experienced than I am. I hope it's not a complete fail and I can feel good about it. For now, I'm trying to find excuses to back out. (Just kidding. I've decided I am definitely doing this, even if that means I have to shit a brick and burst into tears while feeling completely useless.)

Atomic number 112 was officially named Copernicium last week, February 19th 2010, on Copernicus' 537th birthday! How exciting. I, personally, think that Copernicum would've been a better name. Alas, nobody consulted me. (Fools.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Orange You a Raisin

I made cookies last night. They were supposed to be Orange-Cranberry, but since I didn't have cranberries I used raisins. Works for me. I like raisins better anyway. Here is the dough.

1.5 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1/2 cup of butter (softened)
1 cup of packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of orange zest (or MORE)
1/2 cup of cranberries

1. Mix together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.
2. Put butter and sugar in the food processor and pulse until combined (20 seconds).
3. Add the eggs and orange zest and pulse until combined.
4. Add the dry ingredients and pulse JUST until combined.
5. Fold in cranberries by hand.
6. Drop spoonfuls of the batter on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
7. You can cool them on a rack if you want, but most importantly stuff your face with as many as you can.

(I think this is right. I'm typing this from memory.)

(This apparently is the post of idiotic picture faces. Golly!) I just got back from ultimate and literally ate 6 cookies typing this up.

In other ultimate related news, I had a good time at the Oxy scrimmage last weekend. Some of those girls were super good. We lost, but we were also playing the A team. I went to the doctor for my knee and she said I had Iliotibial Band Syndrome. She gave me 3 pages of exercises to do and also referred me to sports medicine. Today at practice we learned Trap Zone defense. I got to be the trap once which is fun because you get to yell "TRAAAAAP" really loud.

Muddling around in MATLAB

Guest Contributor, JTGuest Contributor, JT
You may ask yourself, why is "I ♥ CS (and other things)" being commandeered by some douchebag known as JT?

This is a legitimate question. I have even asked myself the same question, minus the douchebag part. Along with, do I even know what muddle means? Kind of. Do I mind using it in a way that makes very little sense? Not at all, it sounds like a fine title. Anyways, I wasn't planning on introducing myself. Instead, I am going to write about a current event in Olga, the author of your favorite blog, and I's life.

It just so happens to be, learning the basics of the technical computing application, MATLAB. Her EE102 Systems and Signals professor, Balakrishnan, assigned a project that required it's use.
We proceeded by first, scratching our heads, to relieve a nagging itch of course.

This is the assignment sheet:
What did I experience when she shared this with me? I saw a differential equation and some piecewise functions, and almost immediately I could smell the oh-so-familiar odor of a dusty room. The accumulation of dust in the mathematical quarters of my mind was as thick as the snow on the ground back east. It made me feel like the abandoned Ford Pinto that lives in a field of the side of Interstate-5 along the grapevine grade, rusty and broken-down. Luckily, Olga is an excellent mathematician so she was the brains behind Team Zissou. I was the code-monkey, and away we go. (Which, by the way, is an excellent film. Perhaps Olga will publish a review of it someday soon.)

Our final m-code came out to be this:

When executed, rendered this awesome plot figure:

and produced a sound like a quick low knock at a door or a little bubble in chewing gum popping, that was supposed to be this waveform:

Unlike some of her classmates, who got duped by a button which printed MATLAB's Command History window, her program printed nice and neatly, because I worked on it the entire time as a saved .m file.
As a disclaimer, neither she or I, know for a fact that this solution is correct. It was just our best effort. There is much more to explore in this powerful application and I look forward to using it in the future. I need to update my resume now and get ready for the phone calls from all the text-to-speech companies who want to produce popping and knocking noises.

Host, Olga
Host and spellchecker, Olga

ucla university california los angeles computer science electrical engineering 102 balakrishnan matlab speech vocal voice synthesis tract cord signal system second order differential equation impulse step response tf convolve conv fourier coefficient plot stem angle abs cascaded soundsc

Monday, February 22, 2010

Meet JT

So, you might have noticed I haven't been blogging that often. I asked JT, my pet dino, to guest blog about our team projects. I do a lot of fun things with JT that are worth blogging about. He is really great; although you do have to bear with his run-on sentences. Here we are, doing what we do best - karate.
"That's fucking teamwork." -Jables

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Battling Infinity

This morning I made waffles and used my brand new waffler that JT gave me for V-day because he is THE BEST! Kate and I having been coveting Villaware wafflers. They are on the pricey side, but totally worth it. I know it because Kate wouldn't spend an extra dime on things and she splurged for this one. (You can get your very own Villaware baby here)

I used Alton Brown's recipe:

4 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1 cup
4 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1 cup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 whole eggs, beaten
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
Vegetable spray, for waffle iron

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In another bowl beat together eggs and melted butter, and then add the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Ladle the recommended amount of waffle batter onto the iron according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Close iron top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from iron. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

I didn't have buttermilk, or any milk for that matter, so I used water. It came out really liquid-y.
I added some flour to make up for it. I'm also really into nutmeg lately, so I added a lot of that also. And it did not disappoint! Check it.
I love that I have a Villaware waffler. It's really great. I ate the waffle with grandma's strawberry preserves while I was filling out my FAFSA.

After breakfast I went to CS 181 (Formal Languages and Automata) and it was one of the coolest lectures I've ever been to; mind you I went to every single lecture of CS 181, each outdoes the previous. We were battling infinity and trying to figure out what Turing Machines couldn't do. A Turing Machine has the capability of any machine in the universe and even it cannot recognize some languages. We proved that the number of TMs is countably infinite and the number of languages is uncountably infinite.

Then I had ultimate field practice for an hour and a track practice. Astro swiped me in to ultimate dorm dinner! Thanks, Astro!

Good day today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

USC-B v. Midas Rookies

Tonight is the USC B team vs. UCLA B team (Midas) scrimmage! Hooooo.
Last week and today was rough. I'm hoping we will destroy USC and I can go to bed smiling.


Valentine's Day!

At 19-years-old I finally had my very first Valentine's Day with a loving boyfriend. Hey-yo!
We made lamb while V-rock ate bananas just the way he likes to eat bananas.
It turned out really well. Check it out! We used this recipe from; it used cocoa powder and cumin to season the lamb.
Vova and Elyse crashed our dinner as we were finishing. Favorite quote of the day:
O: We have some lamb left, do you want it?
V: Yeah, I want to try.
E: So, you're too full to eat candy but you're not too full to eat lamb?
V: This is MAN candy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Job Fair

So, I went to a Job Fair at my school. I was hoping to talk to DirectTV to try to get a summer internship like the one V got. I got my resume ready and all dressed up and it was awful. I didn't see anybody I knew. I had no idea what to do or what to say. Everybody was super confident and I couldn't even convince myself that I would be of any use to a company. I started getting clammy and shaky. I left after 20 minutes and it was the longest 20 minutes in my life. As soon as I left the building I felt really useless and started crying. Then I talked to JT, Vova, Bees and my parents (in that order) and felt a little better.

At least my suit still fit. Funny, that was the only thing I was worried about after my CS midterm that day. I thought I had gotten fatter since I got it a year ago. Nope. Fits just the same it did last year. V said it looked "pimpin'". I agree.
Suit: Banana Republic
Shirt: J.Crew